Five ingredients for the perfect kitchen

Five ingredients for the perfect kitchen


When it comes time to design your kitchen, the recipe is simple. It needs to present beautifully but taste equally as amazing.

The presentation of the kitchen is always the most exciting part but so often we forget about the taste (aka what is inside those cupboards) and that is the vital ingredient to create a five star meal.

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I was lucky enough to be able to design two different kitchens for a duplex build we recently completed. Despite their interior styles differing, maximising the space was always paramount.

Here’s the five key ingredients for a practical kitchen:

Storage space is a must

Storage in a small house, apartment or in my case a duplex is a precious commodity so packing your kitchen full of storage only adds to that flavour.

One of the easiest places to add storage to the kitchen is in the island. In our house we have incorporated drawers and cupboards into both sides of the island bench to really use this space.

In both kitchens we opted for drawers over cupboards where possible because of the practicality when accessing kitchen items, keeping things clean and maximising space.

Integrated pull-out bin

Who would have thought a bin could make me so happy but believe me it is a game changer.

A bin is not an item in the house you want to draw attention to, so if you have the option to tuck it away then take it. Make sure you ask your cabinet maker for the option of a double bin which is housed in the one drawer or cupboard so that you can separate recycling and waste.

A service shelf

If you don’t have the luxury of having a butler’s pantry then a service shelf is the next best thing!

I try to incorporate this shelf into any kitchen I design and house it in the pantry cupboard.

Ensure you speak with your electrician prior to the cabinetry install, so that provisions are put into place for a powerpoint to sit within this cupboard. This allows you to be able to keep the bench space free from items like your kettle and toaster which now live on this shelf.

Deep drawers

In kitchen terms, there isn’t anything worse than having to reach to the back of your cupboards trying to sort through the jenga tower of pots and pans as it is about to come crashing down.

Deep drawers ensure you can fit all of these items in without stacking them and provide easy access for when it is time to get them out.

Drawers offer better storage options than cupboards. Picture: Alan Richardson

Tray dividers

Chopping boards and baking trays are always items that get in the way and don’t have a designated place in the kitchen. But if you can’t have drawers then having a few simple dividers in the cupboard will allow you to slot your trays and chopping boards in without having to stack them on top of each other.

Styling a kitchen two ways

Now it’s time for the exciting part – the presentation.

The kitchen is of course the heart of the home but it is also the place that establishes the style for the rest of the house and where you can inject your personal flare.

Whilst Pinterest and Instagram are an amazing source of inspiration during the design time they can also cloud your thoughts and have you wanting a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Just remember less is more and try rein in those thoughts. My general rule of thumb is do not exceed more than three colours or textures.

For both kitchens I used Harris Kitchens to help bring my vision to life and this is where I introduced the tones and colours which I flowed through the entire home.

My home

I knew I always wanted a black kitchen but something with texture so it still had an earthness to it and a nod to that coastal feel. I opted for a black timber look called Navurban Ravenswood which replicated a timber veneer but is a cost effective and hardy solution.

I adopted the approach in this kitchen that less is more and stuck with three elements. Black cabinetry, Caesarstone CloudBurst Concrete on the benches and splashback and then added some warmth through the hand woven rattan pendants from UR Place.

The handles on the pantry and integrated fridge which the boys from Harris Kitchens made were a feature I personally loved as it gave the kitchen some edge without being too loud. The saying, the design is in the detail I feel rang true here.

Kate and Luke in their new kitchen. Picture: Alan Richardson

The investment

Being quite close to the beach I wanted this house to have a very coastal feel to it. I chose a light colour palette that I thought would be quite universally loved and would not date quickly.

The three elements I used were a light oak timber, white accents through the pendants and shaker profiled doors and a beautiful warm Caesarstone Primordia Stone which has traces of yellow through it, that paired nicely with the oak timber.

Warm timber and white cabinetry give this kitchen a coastal feel. Picture: Hannah Blackmore Photography

When I decided I wanted to have a predominately light timber kitchen it was really important to me that my floors matched the cabinetry. I spent quite a long time searching for samples but nothing was quite right. I was about to pull the pin on the light timber kitchen operation until my Builder Taf from Truebuild Homes recommended a company Farmers Doors who were able to match my floors and supply my joiner with their specialty timber veneer doors to fit.

Whilst I thought this would be a very expensive operation, the price was very comparable to that of my black kitchen and I learnt the lesson to not stop researching! I could not be happier with how this kitchen turned out.

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